The Louisiana oak, or Quercus ludoviciana, is one of the rarest oaks in existence, found only in select arboreta. It's a naturally occurring hybrid derived from a cross of Willow oak, Quercus phellos, and Cherrybark oak, Quercus falcata var. pagodifolia.

It is larger and better formed than southern red oak and commonly grows on sites more moist and acidic. This deciduous tree has heavy strong wood which makes it an excellent timber tree. It also makes an ideal shade tree, which, over the years will become a magnificently lofty specimen reaching 80 feet or more. Obviously, such a massive tree would not be suitable for small plots, but would be better suited for parks and country properties. In addition to beauty and utility, Louisiana oak provides habitat and food for wild animals and birds. The three-lobed leaves are almost chartreuse in spring turning a glossy deep green for summer and finally  a rich copper in autumn.

Louisiana oak is a fast growing tree, but unlike other fast growers, it is also long lived. Its native range in North America is from the Great Lakes in the north, to New Jersey in the east, and Louisiana in the south and west. It is most common to the areas drained by the Mississippi river, or the original Louisiana territory. Despite such a vast area, it is nowhere common and it is largely unheard of. However, it is found in arboreta in the UK (Kew), France, the Netherlands and Germany and can be found in some select nurseries.

Louisiana oak


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